Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1224 ..
MR CORBELL (12.10): Mr Speaker, the terms of the motion before the Assembly this morning are quite clear. The motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition proposes that the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister deliberately or recklessly misled this Assembly in relation to the Hall/Kinlyside development. That is the matter on which every member in this place must vote. You have to decide whether or not the misleading activity of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister was either deliberate or reckless because that is the proposition that has been put to you by the Leader of the Opposition and by other members on this side of the chamber.
I come now to one of the most substantive and most important questions in this debate. That is the question as to whether or not the reason the Government gave for entering into the Kinlyside land deal was correct. We know that it was not. That was what the outcry was about. That was what the concern was about in the community. That was what the concern was about in this place. The question that this Assembly must ask is: Was the reason the Government gave for entering into the Kinlyside land deal true? Mr Speaker, we know it was not. When you go through and look at all the documents associated with this deal, you see very clearly that at no stage until this matter became public was the issue of leases even contingent on the Government entering into the deal. At no stage was it contingent. At no stage in the documents that we have seen released through FOI was it clear that leases had anything to do with it.
Ms Carnell: It had a map of the whole of Hillview attached to the PA.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I ask you to call the Chief Minister to order.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Please continue, Mr Corbell.
MR CORBELL: Labor's criticism has always been that there was no reason to enter into an exclusive agreement. At no stage did the Government present a clear reason until they were questioned about it.
Mr Speaker, I come to a few interesting points. I will outline this morning how the Government misled this place. They claim that they do not understand the difference between leases and blocks and they claim that they had no knowledge of the status of those leases when they entered into the agreement. That is the claim they have put to us today. I draw the attention of the Assembly to a document written by Mr Gary Humphries when he was the Minister for Land and Planning to Mr Bill Kearney, the president of the Hall and District Progress Association. I quote from the document:
I understand the Boltons' lease is over the area now known as Block 630 (as shown on the attached plan) and is leased on a month to month basis.
You would think, would you not, that this document showed that the Government understood very clearly what the status of the land was. In fact, Mr Humphries says, "I understand the Bolton lease is over the area now known as block 630". In this letter Mr Humphries shows he understands very clearly what land is covered by the Bolton lease and what blocks are covered by the Bolton lease. When did he write this letter?